We have a project that we need to get onto for 2021. It has long been on our to do list, and that is restoring the original knoll curtains that hang in most rooms of the Frost House. They have water stains, look like they need their hems dropped, and need some sewing to make the curtain hooks all hang at the same height. We have put it off as we can’t find someone that wants to touch them. We need to look further, and research a little harder. We are determined to get these looking refreshed in 2021.
When we bought the house we were handed a Sales Brochure that described details about the designers behind Alside Homes. The Relator failed to mention in the listing some of these critical details, like the one where it states that the Interior Design was a collaboration between Paul McCobb and Knoll. Knoll were responsible for the curtains and furniture. Paul McCobb had designed all the built-ins including the kitchen cabinets, the vanities, the glass partitions and the glass itself, along with wardrobes and bookshelves. Here is a look through the house and all it’s different built-ins. As an FYI, Paul McCobbs designs have all been handed over to Form Portfolios – you can see what’s available here. Paul’s designs are highly sort after still to this day, and some have entered back into production.
So here we go with the listing of all the pieces he created for Alside. Starting in the main living room – here is his entertainment center. The styling of the shelves has evolved, these were taken not long after we moved into the house, and things had been shoved into a nook waiting for its final placement.
These are the glass partitions that separate the main living room from the front entry, and hide / hint at the ‘office’ writing desk.
And our favorite glass partitions can be found in the principal bedroom, dividing the dressing area from the sleeping area.
And we have to call out the vanities in the dressing area in the principle bedroom, they have an incredible golden glow in the evening. Slide to see the transition from a day to night look.
And just a few of the other rooms, the guest bathroom and the bunk room.
And there you have it a view into the world of built-ins by Paul McCobb for Alside Homes.
Visiting the Farnsworth house is on all design lovers list, and is often referred to as a pilgrimage. Having dinner at the Farnsworth House in Plano, Illinois is a religious experience (for design geeks). A few years ago we were invited to a dear friends birthday dinner celebration, we were beyond delighted, and we were going to move any engagements to make sure we could make it. The invitation was for dinner at the worlds most gorgeous floating glass box in the woods, it was at the one and only Farnsworth House, and is an event that will not be easily forgotten. A bus trip from downtown Chicago shuffled us from one Mies building to another, and to what is often called his masterpiece. We spent a beautiful Summer evening dining on the patio, and enjoying cocktails as we freely walked around and enjoyed the house. At one point, we found several of us piled into the bathroom having a conversation about all the details with a glass of wine in hand. We might have even cheekily called each other from the operating rotary phone in the bedroom. It was the night that the Frost House got to meet the Farnsworth House. We frequently joke that if IKEA was to make a version of the Farnsworth, it would likely be the Frost House.
This Summer, for a hot-minute we contemplated selling the Frost House and buying another house around the corner. An incredible Architect Designed home on our favorite street in Michigan City – Kenwood. It is filled with mid-century modern homes in a short stretch. All designed by one architect Ken Fryer. Our neighbors on Kenwood called us about selling their home. We went over for a tour. The house that was up for sale was the first berm house in Michigan City. It was originally built in the 1960s for Dr. William Hall (a Dentist), who later had his Architect son add a small addition to accommodate his in-home dental office. Anyway, the short of the story is, there was no room for a pool. So we passed on the idea, but we did let some other neighbors know about the home. We connected them with the owners and a sale was made. Lucky for us – we get to visit the house and cocktail in the sunken lounge. Here are some photos from the walk-thru that we did earlier in the Summer of 2020. We will share some updates, as soon as our neighbors are finished with the renovations. OH! And great news – you will be able to rent it for a weekend get away. Stay tuned … we will let you know when it is available.
This house is filled with loads of original features, and the new owners are preserving them. The Kitchen built in bench is a favorite. Along with the sunken lounge room, and that incredible custom fireplace. People this house is a stunner. It is essentially a 2 bedroom and 2 bathroom home. There is a lovely space for a family TV room, and the dental office makes for a great home office. This is another fabulous gem in Michigan City and we are glad that it will be available for rent so people can experience it for themselves. They don’t make them like this anymore. I mean check out that sky-light.
We always forget to document and date our photographs. Actually we are just really pathetic at keeping a neat and tidy digital filing systems of all the photos that are taken. So we are making an effort to do a better job of keeping living records of the changes in the house and the garden. We just updated the ‘tour’ section of our website showing a timeline of photos of the rooms as they have changed over the years since we have been in the house.
So here we go, we are going to start with our Christmas tree for 2020, and our Christmas Day table. It was a small celebration for 3 adults and one dog. Despite the micro-celebration it was actually a really lovely relaxed couple off days of cooking meals together and watching movies.
Of course, the gift of giving this years was the ‘Resident Dog’ book that features Banksy and the Frost House.
Who doesn’t love setting the table for special occasions? It is a favorite thing to do, and we collect vintage dish-ware and glasses so we can dress the table up. We have some metal shelves and large plastic bins in the basement to store all the goodies. The collection is forever growing, we might have a small problem.
Our favorite linens for the dining table come from Huddleson. The only company that I am aware of that makes table linens especially for Saarinen Tulip dining table. The dinner set was found in a resale store in Benton Harbor, likely a wedding gift that was hardly used, it came with all the serving pieces and a place setting for 12. The glassware was purchased from Etsy and Ebay they are a smoked grey/green vintage glasses by Gorham.
We finally made the pilgrimage to the modern mecca of design in Columbus Indiana to see the Miller House. It has long been on the ‘visit’ list, and we finally got around to a quick overnight road trip. We wanted to get some design inspiration for updating the living room, injecting some color without making it too much of a modern mid-century maximalism [ahem Jonathan Adler-esque). We thought the Miller House was the perfect home to help us out.
We equipped ourselves with a few tour maps to help guide our tour: 1] Curbed did a great map and story in Sept 2019, and does a great job with building descriptions; 2] ArchDaily also did a nice job with a map and editing down the buildings to visit Jun 201, but it lacks descriptions.
For the Miller House Tour, we booked well in advance to get tickets, as the tour is popular and limited in availability. The bonus of going during COVID there were 50% fewer people on the tour than normal, so there was plenty of room to socially distance, and less people you needed to dodge in your photos. MCM Daily by DC Hillier has a great write up and photos that you should check out, along with Leslie Williamson via Dwell.
The Miller House – it has to be seen to really grasp this beautiful property – the gardens were much larger than expected.
And then there was more garden to admire ….. we missed the pool – it was already closed for the winter.
We also booked an overnight stay at ‘The Inn at Irwin Gardens’, it was easy to book online, and came with breakfast in the morning included with the room rate. This private home and gardens was converted into an Inn in 2009, and much of the charm has been preserved and maintained to the original 1910 remodel, with some furniture pre-dated to the original build in 1864. It gained a lot of screen time in the movie ‘Columbus’ (2017).
The overnight trip was a little too quick, and because it was a weekend and during a global pandemic – many locations were not available for interior tours. None-the-less we enjoyed our visit.